By Dominic Toner
Stan Collymore believes that Jurgen Klopp will be “unhappy” with Liverpool’s display against Arsenal because of his team’s defending.
Liverpool won 4-3 in their opening fixture against Arsenal with some exhilarating forward play but ex-Liverpool striker Collymore says the performances of the defenders will be a concern.
The Merseysiders went a goal down after Simon Mignolet had save Theo Walcott’s early penalty and then allowed Arsenal to stage a late comeback after tearing the home side to shreds either side of the break.
Ex-Liverpool player Collymore believes that Klopp must decide on his back four quickly and highlighted the performance of Alberto Moreno at left-back as the chief area of concern.
“If you are Wenger or Klopp pouring over the match analysis this week then neither can be happy at all with the overall display,” Collymore wrote in his BoyleSports column. “Liverpool were poor defensively in the first 25 minutes and how Moreno, with a full pre-season under his belt, hasn’t learnt when to stay and when to go as a left back, particularly after his display against Sevilla last season, then he never will.
“The fact James Milner is being touted as a replacement tells its own story. So Klopp needs to find a settled back four and quickly.”
Spanish defender Moreno is the only recognised left-back in Liverpool’s senior squad but the versatile Milner is set to replace him for Saturday’s clash against Burnley.
Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren appear settled in the Liverpool defence but debutant Ragnar Klavan endured a testing start.
Graeme Souness has criticised the performances of both Klavan and Moreno, with the latter giving away a penalty and being caught out of position for Theo Walcott’s goal.
New signing Joel Matip could be given the opportunity to cement a place in the back four after he was an unused substitute against Arsenal, whilst centre-back Mamadou Sakho is currently sidelined with a heel injury.
Klopp’s sides are well known for their fluent attacking football and that was evident in their win over the Gunners, but will want to figure out his best back four quickly.
In other Liverpool team news, their young midfielder has been hit with an injury that will keep him out until mid-September.